FOLLOWING last week’s announcement of the first two Australian invites – Lulu Le Mans and Major Occasion – for the Harness Jewels, Harness Racing New Zealand and Addington Raceway are thrilled to confirm three three latest Australian competitors.
Pete’s Big Jim (Three-Year-Old Emerald), Falcon Stride (Four-Year-Old Emerald) and Majestic Player (Four-Year-Old Ruby) will represent their homeland in this year’s edition of the Jewels.
Shane and Lauren Tritton will bring back Pete’s Big Jim, which was a gallant second beaten just a neck by Another Masterpiece last year, and talented four-year-old gelding Falcon Stride across the Tasman.
Peter Kohlsdorf is the owner of Pete’s Big Jim, and was ecstatic to be able to return to New Zealand with his pride and joy.
“It’s hardly sunk in to be honest,” Kohlsdorf said. “I’ve been thinking about it since last year when we were just beaten a neck by Another Masterpiece. So we set a programme to come back with the horse to the Jewels again, if it was at all possible.”
Pete’s Big Jim has not had the best of luck this year, struggling with setbacks and lameness but Kohlsdorf and Tritton report the horse is on the way back up.
Falcon Stride is a horse that Shane has a high opinion of and has won six of his 14 starts. He has previously won over a mile in 1.51.7.
“He’s a horse that I’ve said several times, if he was in a Miracle Mile and they went 1.48, I’ve got no doubt he’d be good enough to be there,” Tritton said.
“I’m really excited about him. I know it’s a strong division don’t get me wrong, and he’s a horse that a lot of people won’t know a lot about. But he’ll turn some heads at the top of the straight if he can be close enough.”
Anton Golino will also return to the Harness Jewels when he presents four-year-old trotter Majestic Player in the Ruby.
Golino campaigned with Dance Craze at Cambridge in 2018. She was third despite being desperately unlucky in the running and has since gone on to win the Great Southern Star and Saturday night’s La Coocaracha.
The Yabby Dams Farm owned Majestic Player extended his record to 13 wins from 25 starts when winning at Menangle untouched last Saturday night. This season alone he has won seven of his 10 attempts.
Pat Discoll of Yabby Dams Farm is elated to returning to New Zealand with Jewels contender for Australia. But he did explain to HRNZ that the horse has not been without his challenges.
“We are very honoured and privileged to get the invite and providing the horse has pulled up ok after Saturday night we will definitely be there,” Driscoll said. “He’s a bit of a stable star.
“The horse has actually come from nowhere,” explained Driscoll. “As a young horse and a two-year-old he was short in stature and gangly and everyone loved him because even though he tried, he couldn’t trot.
“Each year he’s just got better and better and from the horse’s point of view it’s a wonderful story. A horse that had a wonderful will to win but just couldn’t trot, and each year has just improved. He just seems to be getting better every start.”
- HRNZ Media